PRESS RELEASE: 12pm EST Wednesday, February 1 2017
My name is Nicola Baldini, and I am the co-founder of FILM Ferrania, a film company created in 2013 with the aim of building a manufacturing base for the modern age. The roots of FILM Ferrania grew from the legendary Italian film company, Ferrania, which ceased operations in 2009.
I am thrilled to announce that our first product, FERRANIA P30® ALPHA, an 80 ISO, 35mm, black and white film, will begin pre-sales mid-February 2017.
P30® ALPHA recreates the beloved P30 motion picture film formula produced by Ferrania during the 1960s making it the only B&W “cinema film” for still photography currently available.
P30® ALPHA is the first step towards FILM Ferrania’s production of color film in still and motion picture formats.
Watch the introductory video below, then scroll down to read the press release in full and view the sample images. I’ve also added a few thoughts at the foot of this page, which you may be interested in reading.
Official press release:
Cairo Montenotte (SV), Italy – FILM Ferrania is proud to announce its first product, FERRANIA P30®, in a limited ALPHA edition.
FERRANIA P30® ALPHA reproduces, with modern techniques developed by FILM Ferrania scientists, the exact film that made Ferrania world-famous more than 50 years ago.
With its cinema pedigree, ultra fine grain, and very high silver content, FERRANIA P30® ALPHA has no peers in the modern analog film market.
Pre-sales of FERRANIA P30® ALPHA in 35mm still format, with 36 exposures, will begin mid-February 2017 at www.filmferrania.it/shop.
A Jewel from the Age of the Italian Cinema Masters
FERRANIA P30® ALPHA is an 80 ISO panchromatic black & white motion picture film for still photography, and reintroduces the legendary P30 film produced by Ferrania during the 1960s. FERRANIA P30® ALPHA is coated on triacetate base and features an incredibly high silver content of 5 grams per square meter.
Speaking about this silver-rich film, FILM Ferrania CEO Nicola Baldini states, “Each frame is like a piece of jewellery.”
Pasolini, Rossellini, Visconti and many other Italian directors powered their masterpieces with P30 film. In 1961, Sophia Loren won the Academy Award for “La Cio ciara” ( Two Women) by Vittorio De Sica and the entire world started to appreciate the beauty of FERRANIA P30® . In 1963, the legendary film 8 ½ by Federico Fellini was shot on FERRANIA P30® stock, cementing its place in cinema history.
Building a Viable Future for Analog Film
The original Ferrania company began making still and cinema film products in 1917 and quickly became the “Kodak of Italy”. In 1964, Ferrania was purchased by the 3M Corporation and the research facility, Laboratori Ricerche Fotografiche (or “LRF”) was built. Under 3M’s ownership, Ferrania grew to be the fourth largest film manufacturer in the world. All film production operations ended in 2009.
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In 2013, FILM Ferrania was born when co-founders Nicola Baldini and Marco Pagni visited Ferrania. They recognized the raw potential of the old factory and began a challenging industrial downscaling project designed to match the needs of the modern analog film market by using the LRF as the primary facility. Inside this single building is a color film factory “in miniature.” Its overall footprint and resource demands, as well as production capacity, are a small fraction of existing manufacturers – but it is capable of producing, in a sustainable way, professional-quality motion picture and still film products that rival any in the market.
In addition to the LRF, FILM Ferrania has secured hundreds of tons of equipment from the former campus that will be essential for expansion efforts, and has saved more than 90 years worth of unique documentation containing the entire film manufacturing knowledge of Ferrania. Key to this salvage effort was a highly-successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, launched in October 2014. Over 5500 backers from around the world pledged $322,420 USD to save “Trixie”, “Walter” and “Big Boy”.
With these elements in hand, FILM Ferrania is creating the world’s first color film manufacturing base that is expressly designed for the 21st century market.
So, what do you think? FERRANIA P30 may not be the ISO 100 ScotchChrome that formed the basis of the original Kickstarter but progress, trials, tribulations and successes have been documented thoroughly by the FERRANIA team over the past two plus years, and I’m not personally disappointed about this development – slide film will come, of that I am sure.
Getting a new version of a long-discontinued film on the market is no small feat, especially when you’re having to rebuild the machinery to do it. I for one will be buying up what I can once doors open for preorder in a couple of weeks. The original film stock was nothing short of legendary and I can’t wait to try it.
The Online Darkroom had a interesting thought piece on the possibility of an updated FERRANIA P30 back in late October 2014 and I’ve taken a quote from the article by FERRANIA’s David Bias:
“Since the old Ferrania company produced a rather famous black and white motion picture film called P30 (also later in 35mm/120), we are of course interested in one day recreating that formula. But again, our priority is to first fill some other gaps in the market – most notably with color reversal films.”
I’m wondering what market/technical/financial pressures and priorities led FERRANIA to release P30 before ScotchChrome.
Manufacturing slide film is challenging, even if you have all your technical ducks in a row. If the redevelopment of P30 has been running concurrently with that of ScotchChrome, it could make sense to release P30 first from the perspective of assessing market appetite at the very least.
In addition, and probably more importantly, if the same machinery or variations therein are being used to coat and cut film the base, as well as to roll and load the film, then this film’s release may also be considered as a low-to-mid volume test for the infrastructure, its capacity and ability to deliver required volumes of saleable product.
All this is of course pure speculation and no doubt something that will keep minds whirring for long after rolls of P30 have been delivered, shot and developed.
Please have your say in the comments below.
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Hello I possess a vintage ferrania camera original made in Italy1950
Hello I possess a vintage ferrania camera original made in Italy
I have been lucky to get an early supply of this film from the factory. I exposed a couple of rolls in a variety of situations and lighting.
The films were lab processed in Fuji Negastar dev, an excellent combination. The resulting high res scans were printed to A3.
I have to say this is the best mono film I have seen for as long as I can remember. Superfine, almost invisible grain & very high resolution.
It has a lowish red sensitivity, red buses & phone boxes go black, not something I regularly photograph. I didn’t find this a problem at all.
The film is quite contrasty and this helps give it a nice look. My test rolls had a lot of keepers, despite some awful weather conditions, it performed well in bright sun and rain. If you want a fine grain, medium speed general purpose film, this may be for you.
The initial batch of film, numbered P30-17-001, sold out in a week. FILM Ferrania are hoping to have batch 002 available in early May.
This is great info, Philip, thank you very much for sharing. Do you have any images you’d like to share? Would love to feature them as a post here on EMULSIVE.
I have plenty of images to share and would love to do so.
I can’t wait to use this film!
I would love to get some of this film! It looks beautiful. Can any lab that processes B&W film process this film? Can I process it in my darkroom?
You can indeed get it processed in a lab or do it yourself with conventional monochrome chemicals.
I understand it processes with TRI-X timing but Ferrania will be sending processing data with the films.
Canny news indeed! Just now filled out my kickstarter form-option 1 is the one i chose:) Really, really, really excited about getting my coupon code for the new film + my original reward of slide film later this year + the added benefits that option 1 gives:) Happy, happy, happy bunny here:)))))
@filmferrania This is great news.
So much so this is the second film release in the last week I have seen.
Lets keep it going
@filmferrania My big question; Polyester or Cellulose Triacetate?
Yes !!!! Italian film made by Italians !!!
@filmferrania great! .. will order some
While excited about any new/re-introduced film, especially B&W, I’m a little worried about the scratching on several of the examples shown. Different photographers shooting, but all with similar scratches in slightly different areas of the frame. Is this a manufacturing defect ? Hopefully they get that fixed.
@filmferrania everyone else with fast glass can form an orderly queue behind me.
@filmferrania @dizd @edwardconde_ This is a great development, but wish they had given an update about the chrome progress.
Dust-off your tripods and clean your fast glass, ladies and gentlemen. I have a feeling slow B&W film is about to become hip again.
@filmferrania Ultra fine grain – I don’t even see any! Sample images are beautiful, hope I can do 1/10th as good with it.
Oh! dear! the wallet is gonna get a kick in the belly again…
@filmferrania very curious about the price…
We are, too… At the moment we’re trying to understand our cost more clearly. For sure, the ALPHA film will be a little cheaper than the “final” version.
Count me in! Kudos to them for keeping momentum going however way they can that relates to the factory starting up. Although not the scotch chrome that has initially been advertised, this is hopefully a good sign they are nearing completion of their infrastructure.
@filmferrania this is so amazing !!! I can’t wait to receive the colour film but I’d love that b&w too !!
@filmferrania definitely will be ordering some of this!
@filmferrania Will it be released in grown-up sizes too, or just this wee stuff?
Hi Matthew. I like that “grown-up sizes”!! YES, once we nail down the 35mm stuff… 120 is a bit more difficult because only a few companies make the backing paper and we do not want to drive up our costs if we can figure out how to make it ourselves. 4×5 will be much easier – but again, our tiny team has to get the film to “proper ALPHA” first – and even then, we may wait for feedback from users and release “grown-up sizes” in BETA or the final version only.
I look forward to the opportunity to spool some up and get to work. Thanks Dave, and keep on fighting the good fight.
@filmferrania who’s preordering? I sure am!
@filmferrania That is great news! Looking forward to running some P30 #film through my cameras!
@filmferrania I wish I had an exact date, so I could set a reminder to get online and buy it before it all sells out.
@filmferrania This looks beyond awesome.